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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Competing imperatives : individual rights and international obligations in extradition from Canada to the U.S.A. Botting, Gary


Contemporary developments in extradition law culminating in the new Extradition Act mirror equally intriguing historical developments in Canada-U.S. extradition law and practice. This thesis examines the process by which each country approached extradition and treaty negotiation, historically and politically, treaty by treaty. It notes the ways in which extradition limped along in times when there was no treaty. It examines the historical background of, and the substantial body of law arising from, the three main treaties that have dealt with extradition between the United States and what is now Canada - the Jay Treaty (1794), the Ashburton-Webster Treaty (1842), and the current Canada-U.S. Treaty (1971). It analyses the legislation which establishes the procedure to be used in extradition cases in Canada, including the new Extradition Act, which received royal assent on 17 June 1999. It looks at the ways in which treaties and legislation have been applied by the courts and by the executive branch of successive governments. It explores and analyses the positions that the courts in Canada have taken with respect to the conflict between individual rights and international obligations. It examines the new Act in the context of relevant case law with a view to anticipating the ways in which it is likely to impact on Canada's extradition policy in the future. Finally, it suggests that in order to preserve individual rights and protections over perceived international obligations, the judiciary will have to take or be granted powers of discretion that are equal to or greater than those enjoyed by the Minister of Justice.

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